So, I was hanging out at my house this weekend watching some TV while doing some home renovation. I watched the last half of "The Prince and Me" (2004 movie with Julia Stiles), which was cute. I've always been a fan of Julia Stiles and the guy who played the prince was very cute, so that was enough reason to watch. After it ended, "The Prince and Me II: The Royal Wedding" started. Okay, I'll ignore the fact that it was a stinker. Julia didn't come back for it and the actress who played Paige was overly dramatic and it just seemed poorly written. But, that is not what my rant is about.
The premise of the movie was that some archaic Danish law said that the Prince (who is now the King) can't marry a commoner if there is an eligible royal to marry. There is and she is on her way to the castle for a visit. A conversation between the Prince and Paige (his non-royal betrothed) takes place regarding this princess who threatens Paige's future as a queen. Paige asks the Prince if he knows this woman. He says he does and that they were good friends when they were younger. Paige further questions him and it eventually gets down to "what does she look like?" His response is: "From what I remember, she was rather ROTUND. Do you feel better now?"
.....ARE YOU KIDDING ME? If his response had been, "she has horrible hair" or "her left eye is a little wonky" or "her nose is awfully big", somehow that wouldn't have carried the same weight. (Mind the pun.) Why is it that weight is always the great determinant of whether or not someone is worthy or attractive, a good candidate as a life mate or a perceived "threat" to a relationship?
It's no wonder I have such low self-esteem! My weight has always been an issue for me. As a child I was "stout." (No little girl should ever be told such a thing.) Whether it is a snail-like metabolism, a childhood where I don't ever remember doing anything sport-like as a family or simply bad choices about food and exercise, I feel destined to be trapped in this "fat suit". That feels like a death sentence when it comes to marriage and family. I've worked very hard on who I am. I strive to be empathetic, forthright, honest, loyal, witty, intelligent, and generally a "good person". I do the "heavy lifting" of talking to a therapist every week to work on the areas that are still a challenge to me. I really do try to eat right and exercise. But this all seems to be of little or no consequence. Anyone who sees me assumes that I must not do those things because I am fat...obese....disgusting.
Why is this still an acceptable way of discriminating against people? Why are fat jokes told? Why are obese people physically touched less (and thereby feel loved less)? Obesity isn't catching. It's not like a cold. Why are fat people assumed to be lazy or less intelligent? How do I not believe these things about myself when those are the messages that seems to be constantly thrust under my nose via television and magazines and conversations walking down the street? If I am healthy and my body is strong and capable of performing the tasks I want to perform, shouldn't these messages simply pass by me and not cling to me?
Why couldn't I have been born in the days when Rubenesque women were thought of as beautiful and desireable? I will never be a waif. I will never be told that I need to put a little meat on my bones. Every day will be a battle with the scale and the stupid, albeit very real, connection between the numbers that show up and the value I (and others) place on me. The very thought of that makes me sad and tired.